MIT whitewashes its role in Aaron Swartz’s death

Statement by Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman, on MIT’s report, released
yesterday, on the University’s actions in the Aaron Swartz case:

“MIT’s behavior throughout the case was reprehensible, and this report
is quite frankly a whitewash.

Here are the facts: This report claims that MIT was “neutral” — but
MIT’s lawyers gave prosecutors total access to witnesses and evidence,
while refusing access to Aaron’s lawyers to the exact same witnesses
and evidence. That’s not neutral. The fact is that all MIT had to do
was say publicly, “We don’t want this prosecution to go forward” – and
Steve Heymann and Carmen Ortiz would have had no case. We have an
institution to contrast MIT with – JSTOR, who came out immediately and
publicly against the prosecution. Aaron would be alive today if MIT
had acted as JSTOR did. MIT had a moral imperative to do so.

And even now, MIT is still stonewalling. Wired reporter Kevin Poulsen
FOIA’d the Secret Service’s files on Aaron’s case, and judge ordered
them to be released. The only reason they haven’t been is because MIT
has filed an objection. If MIT is at all serious about implementing
any reforms to stop this kind of tragedy from happening again, it must
stop objecting to the release of information about the case.”

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